30 October, 2011

À la Recherche du temps perdu . . .


I took what is becoming an annual tradition for me, a late-October stroll around Missoula to catch the leaves.  Incredible carpets of leaves throughout the University Area.  

For me, fall is a time that inspires reflection.  A "Remembrance of Things Past."

08 October, 2011

It's Official . . . Fall Has Come to Northwest Montana

This past week my forced air heater and vented fireplace were serviced, the sprinkler system was blown out and shut down, and I flirted with re-water-sealing my decks. 

It rained all day yesterday - a steady gray drizzle that hinted at things to come.  Folks were holed up at the coffee house where I work (while searching for my perfect library job), sipping hot concoctions and greeting one another with bonhomie.  Cozy, comforting and familiar.  It's autumn in the Flathead.

13 March, 2011

My Newest Musical Discovery

It's Daylight Savings!

It's Springtime in the Rockies!  As I look out my window, I can see parts of my yard that have been hidden for a couple of months.  The sundial that our Aunt Elma gave us in the Sixties has emerged from its blanket of snow.
Yesterday I discovered a new singer, Alycia Lang.  Her covers of The Bangles' "Eternal Flame," and The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are incredible interpretations . . .  poetic and poignant.  
And so, this first day of Daylight Savings finds me sitting shirtless on my back porch steps reading my Kindle and savoring a Sunny Hours Sunday!   Happy Springtime!

12 November, 2010

My new favorite thing . . .

Of late I've been enjoying the pleasures of Pandora.com music on the Net.  For the uninitiated, it's a wonderful free music utility on the web that allows you to create various "radio stations," using criteria like artist or genre.  It will then automatically select music that might fit that profile (using its Music Genome Project) - some of it I like, some I don't, but it allows me to fine tune the selections to suit my musical tastes. 

It's a little like belonging to a book club, since it introduces one to music and musicians that may not otherwise be experienced.  So, it helps expand my musical horizons, which is good since I want to begin to learn new music to play on my guitar and sing. 

Like most freebies on the Internet, it comes laden with ads, but if you fork over the BUCK$, the ads go away.  Cool Raoul!

22 October, 2010

A quick and humorous moment . . .

I know, I know!  I've been remiss in posting to this blog.  I'll try to do a posting soon, but, as a stopgap, today's Monty comic made me laugh.  So, I'm passing it along (makes me wonder what using a Popiel's Pocket Fisherman might add to the mix!):

23 September, 2010

"These are a few of my favorite things . . . "

It's a beautiful, gray fall day in The Flathead.  In a bit I'll be on the road to Virginia City, MT, to see one of the final productions of the Brewery Follies for this season.  I have been indoctrinated only recently into this bawdy onstage romp - very funny and I highly recommend that you plan to see it next summer if you're in the lovely Ruby Valley, or anywhere in southwest Montana!

Tomorrow night I'm going to Butte to see road show musical version of  "The Color Purple" with my friend Sam Maloney at The Mother Lode Theater.  I have never read the book (I know - shame on me, since I'm a librarian) and haven't seen the movie in years.   Looking forward to the experience.

Lastly, I am becoming interested in the work of Montana artist Russell Chatham.   I love his sensibility of landscape minimalism, boiling down a scene to spare elements.  A lot of his work reminds me of the California Impressionists.  Since he's originally from Marin, California, perhaps that did influence him.  More likely, the direct influence was from his grandfather, Gottardo Piazzoni, who worked in the California Impressionist style.  Regardless of his technique/style, I'm enamored of his work.  Don't know whether I can afford to buy his stuff, but my late partner Charles always said "buy what you love."  Words to live by!

17 September, 2010

Men on Films . . .

There's a light dusting of snow on Big Mountain, which I can see from my living room window.  Fall seems to have taken hold of the Flathead Valley, even though we're shy a week from the official start of the season.  A quick Google search has placed the Atumnal Equinox at "Sep 22 2010  11:09 PM EDT," which places it around nine in the evening here in Montana. 

Regardless, the weather definitely has made a turn toward autumnal.  By far it's my favorite season.  There is a sense of melancholy that I find familiar and oddly comforting. 

Last year at this time I was beginning the process of culling through Charles' things, an act which ultimately would culminate in getting our townhome ready to sell and me leaving San Diego for Montana.  It was a poignant, bittersweet time - the second fall that I was alone since Charles' death.  

So, as the days shorten and I prepare to settle in, I find that I'm surrounding myself with staples and "fuel" for the upcoming months - including the essentials of good books and movies gleaned from my local library.  I'm currently reading a book by Alexander McCall Smith called The Unbearable Lightness of Scones (from The 44 Scotland Street series)  This is the first of his books that I've read, even though I saw my library customers checking out his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, I'd never been driven to read them.  However, while visiting my Whitefish branch, I discovered the Scones book on the display shelf, was taken with the title, and brought it home.  It's a fun read and McCall Smith definitely knows how to put words together. 

Ah, movies - Aside from reading, what better way to insulate oneself!  I already mentioned watching "Coco before Chanel."  I just brought home Letters to Juliet, (this one I actually rented from a vending box in my local market).   Okay, okay - I admit it, yet another so-called "chick flick!"  But, I love anything that has Vanessa Redgrave in it AND this film has the extra added bonus of seeing her paired with Franco Nero again - as some of you may remember, they were cast together in the 1967 film version of Camelot, she as Guinevere, he as Lancelot du Lac. 

Juliet was filmed in Italy in Verona and the outlying areas.  Beautiful cinematography and the storyline about fifty-year-old unrequited love satisfied my autumnal teariness quotient.  Definitely worth a watch, if you find yourself in your own version of fall reflection.